Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
September 7th, 2009
08:17 AM ET

President Obama's issues

Health care reform and government spending aren't the only topics inviting criticism of President Obama.

Just last night, word came that White House Adviser Van Jones had resigned.

A leading house republican, among others, had called for Jones's job because of a petition Jones signed five years ago.

That petition called for an investigation into whether government officials deliberately let the 9/11 terror attacks happen.

Is this an example of the White House caving in to pressure from the right?


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Jeremiah the Prophet

    Yes this is an example of the White House caving in to the radical uneducated misinformed and forgetful right. How soon we forget the information available to the National intelligence apparatus' of our country prior to the attacks on 9/11.

    Threat information that MADE it into the PDB (Presidential Daily Brief). Trust me my fellow American citizens, benign and meaningless information or information not taken serious and thoroughly vetted by the National intelligence apparatus' of country does NOT make a PDB.

    Why? Because mid level intelligence managers do NOT want to be ridiculed by senior level intelligence managers, who incidentally do NOT want to be questioned, grilled, or doubted by political appointees or elected officials charged with conducting intelligence oversight.

    So, by virtue of their very neglect to act on the information provided in the PDB senior level government officials need to be held accountable for NOT taking action because such inaction makes them directly and indirectly complicit in the attacks of 9/11.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  2. Jim, Ok.

    Has anyone looked up the definition of "czar", which them GOP is calling Jones. czar sounds like a bad person but has different meanings. One meaning is a King or Ruler. Which is used in European countries. In the US it is used as someone holding a high job,such as a Bank czar. Jones had no high job, just an advisor looking for green jobs. Jones had no authority to make any decisions, just bring the Pres. the information.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  3. Scott Stodden

    I believe so cuz who is Van Jones I never even heard of this guy but the GOP was pushing for his resignination and he immediatly left. President Obama I urge you as a supporter of you and who voted for you do and say what's right Wednesday night, dont cave in to Republicans. Tell the Republican party that "us Democrats have the votes needed to get anything passed and we'll stand as Democrats with or without you" Thats what we should have said along time ago.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    September 7, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  4. Mike Armstrong TX.

    We took our eyes off the ball thats why 911 happend just like were taking our eyes off the ball again were going to turn around and get smacked right in the face let Van Jones investigate the next hit on America it will be caused by stupidity.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  5. JR

    I am a democrat and I believe this guy should go. His beliefs are just too 'out there' to be in charge of such an important gov't program.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  6. Kathy A. Conrad

    I believe the President is restructuring his approach ... it is clear the senate etal are incapable of getting the job done ...

    Perhaps the righteous should re-read their Bible for clarity and inspiration ...

    Today’s Version of The Good Samaritan … see the original in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verses 25-37

    One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    Jesus replied with a story:

    An uninsured man was traveling by bus from Chicago to Los Angeles, and he was attacked by a gang of ungodly thugs as he waited for his transfer. They beat him up, stole his bus ticket and left him near dead next to the gutter. Many people saw what had happened and did nothing. Even those carrying their Bible turned their heads and walked past. By chance a Republican came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Blue Dog Democrat walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then the CEO’s of two of the largest pharmaceutical and insurance companies came along, and when they saw the man, and they smiled at their good fortune. Going over to the injured man, the CEO’s began tending his wounds. But, as soon as they found out the man had no health insurance they too walked away. The uninsured man began to weep. How could a man who had worked hard all his life end up like trash heaped up next to the gutter? The man felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up. Bending over him were President Barack Obama. Cradling the man in his arms President Obama soothed and bandaged the man’s wounds. He took the man to the hospital and handing the doctors money and instructed them to take care of him. He said, “If his bill runs higher than this, I will pay it.”

    Now which of these four would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by thugs?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

    September 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  7. James of Houston

    Hey, Guys, when it comes to seriously controlling our health care costs, check this out! Speaking of President Obama's issues, will he address the following problem in his report to Congress next Wednesday? ... From what Howard Dean has reported, I will be very, very surprised if he does!

    "Medical liability in Massachusetts has become an extraordinary burden on our health care system. It produces years of litigation, financial inefficiencies, a culture of secrecy and a “blame game” mentality, plus unaffordable premiums for physicians. It is dysfunctional for physicians and patients.

    Harvard School of Public Health Professor Michelle Mello has described it aptly: “For compensation, deterrence, corrective justice, efficiency and collateral effects, the system gets low or failing grades.”
    The latest indication of the system’s failings comes from a survey of Massachusetts physicians about the practice of defensive medicine: tests, imaging, referrals, consultations and hospitalizations ordered by physicians out of the fear of being sued.

    The survey is the first of its kind to quantify defensive practices across a wide spectrum and among a number of specialties, as well as the first to link such data directly with Medicare cost data. The study, conducted by the Massachusetts Medical Society, found that 83 percent of physicians reported practicing defensive medicine and that an average of 18-28 percent of tests, procedures, referrals and consultations and 13 percent of hospitalizations were ordered for defensive reasons. The costs of these practices, in part, were conservatively estimated at $1.4 billion."
    But that number falls short of the real costs: the survey queried physicians in just eight specialties, accounting for only 46 percent of the physicians in the state. The estimate doesn’t include tests and procedures ordered by physicians in other specialties and it doesn’t account for observation admissions to hospitals, specialty referrals and consultations or unnecessary prescriptions.

    Reduced access to care, through the avoidance of high-risk procedures and high-risk patients, is another concern. The survey found that 38 percent of physicians reduced the number of high-risk services they perform and that 28 percent reduced the number of high-risk patients they serve. These findings are similar to previous studies. Over a five-year period, MMS workforce studies have found an average of 44-48 percent of physicians saying they alter or limit services due to the fear of litigation.”

    Source: http://mamedicallaw.com/blog/2009/02/01/the-time-has-come-for-liability-reform/

    September 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  8. Randy N

    If this country is so messed up by this goverment why Oh why is it still in place? Maybe cause the media will not support anyone new, Unless they have buckets of money. Why We the commoners of this country when we have money we but the products and services on your commercails, We support you but you can't support US? Kinda sucks. It does't matter though I will get my message out regardless. Vote Tea Vote Randy.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  9. Jannise Mora

    What, a citizen of the United States of America questioning the roll of their government in something? OMG! Isn't the Bill of Rights still in effect in America. It is in the America I want to live in! President Obama is not a dictator. As a teacher, I appreciated the White Houses efforts to distribute lesson plans that would go along with the President's message on Tuesday. Also, as a teacher and citizen of the United States of America, I know I have the FREEDOM to choose from said lesson plans those items I feel will extend the education benefit of my students. I know the boundaries of what is educational and propaganda, and my school district has entrusted me with the responsibility to teach my students to be thinker, not puppets. With the tremendous amount of comments generated by the President's upcoming speech, it makes me wonder where the confidence in the educational system of the United States lies with parents. Is this concern the real crux of the out pouring against the President.

    September 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  10. Dodie ~ California

    Pastor Anderson of an Arizona Church stated: “I believe God wants me to hate Obama… I want him to die”

    This is the problem with religion and right-wing extremism! People using the bible to substantiate anything they want to. This is a good example of religious fanaticism encompassing rage!

    I am very fearful for President Obama’s life! There are just too many people in this country most uneducated, ignorant (human drones) and often linked to a fanatical religion and raging! Not all people who are Christians are dangerous, but there certainly is a huge group who are!

    I believe the major problem with people’s conception and hate toward Pres. Obama is due to 3 things:
    1. His high intelligence
    2. His educational level
    3. His race
    4. He is an independent thinker

    James Dobson is a frightening figure, because although he’s leading what is widely considered a religious movement,in America, he’s not a religious leader. He has no theological credentials. He’s not a preacher.

    It appears that a fast majority of American people are nothing more than human drones. Very scary to me.

    September 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  11. James of Houston

    Bcapmom, you are absolutely right! My wife and several of her friends are school teachers, and the State of Texas where we reside has a very strict curriculum they each must follow in the classroom.

    They have to frequently update their lesson plans and it is “silly” events like this one that continues to get our teachers off their schedule. To get back on schedule, they have to rush through some of the instructional material in the weeks that follow, and the students are the ones who suffer and are short-changed with their education.

    There are seven class periods in one day. One of these periods is a conference period for the teachers, and six are periods of classroom discussion. If the teachers follow the guidelines issued by the Department of Education, and the children are all sent to assembly to watch the President's speech, then almost a full-day of class room instruction time will be lost to view the presentation and later discuss the topics that have been issued for the teachers to follow. For example:

    • What resonated with you from President Obama’s speech? What lines or phrases do you remember?

    • Whom is President Obama addressing? How do you know? Describe his audience.

    • We heard President Obama mention the importance of personal responsibility. In your life, who exemplifies this kind of responsibility? How? Give examples.

    • Suppose President Obama were to give another speech about being educationally successful. To whom would he speak? Why? What would the president say?

    Why not televise this speech after school is out so the parents and their children can watch the President’s address together? The current plan is another bad, wasteful, useless idea espoused by the White House staff and the U.S. Department of Education!

    September 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  12. marie S

    The people who are doing all the angry shouting, arming themselves at the town hall meetings, are racist with alot of hatred towards their fellow Americans. They act like the Klu Klux Klan without their hoods.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  13. marie S

    The people who are doing all the angry shouting, as well as attending town hall meetings with weapons strapped to their bodies are very frightening. I sometimes fear for President Obama's safety.
    There are ways of disagreeing without acting so un-American.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  14. Don

    I believe that when information about Jones surfaced, the white house strategists realized that Jones had to go. Whether they already knew these things because they vetted him well, or they didn't know because they were inefficient in their vetting, only time will tell.

    One thing is for sure, the people are not going to be easily fooled in today's world of abundant, accessible information sources.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:27 am |
  15. Donald L. Engel

    President Obama must feel like he's in quite a quandry right now. He was elected into office, but no one seems to want to follow his lead. I think most of the problem is due to the fact that a lot of Republicans, like myself, gave him our vote solely as a protest vote against the Republican party. It had nothing to do with what Obama was trying to push through. I know of three people, in addition to myself, who voted this way.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  16. Kathy Johnson

    Here’s another issue that you would think you would be reporting. Obama and his Administration KNEW of the Lockerbie bomber's impending release. They were kept informed at "all stages of discussions." ... This is all over the internet breaking news. Guess you missed this somehow. Can you say "Wag the dog"

    September 8, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  17. Bd

    Please... Jones should stay, we have not had people in the administartions of the past that speak their mind.
    Junes has only said what the rest of us have said and it scares the Republicans. Hmmmm could there be some damaging truth to the allegations against the fromer administartion and the Republican party as a whole.

    September 8, 2009 at 3:17 am |
  18. Bd

    What an example to their weakminded kids these Republican morons are setting. If you don't like something avoid discussion rant and rave about it and spread lies and half truths. Keep your kids OUT of school if they might learn something and be encouraged to THINK.
    As someone said on a previous blog.... Republicans can not recruit free thinkers only mindless drones. If you doubt this look at all the sheep have done and the Republican "leaders" that have driven them...... Fox propaganda network,,, O'reilly....Limbaugh..etc. All these supposed experts have been caught in lies and contradictions and one was even apologized to by the CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY is that insane? Keep your children out of school rather than have them hear about staying in school... too insane for me to contemplate.

    September 8, 2009 at 3:28 am |
  19. Bill

    In a free country each individual has the free choice to choose what, how and when he does something. When he serves his country he still has a private life and the right to conduct that life within the LAWS of the LAND.

    No one is perfect, but using one sided opinion and slick words to confuse issues is NASTY Politics not American, but politics. It should not be part of Media Maddness. We need to promote free choice and the freedom of action. Not condemnation of being human and a law abiding citizens. The rule of law and not political opinion.

    It is intelligent to questions not just 911, but WMD, Katrina, or any issue in this politcally motivated MEDIA, Corporate and Financially Wealthy of a few environment.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  20. Mrberrie

    The news media is doing the country/world a disservice by not talking more about the racist (redneck) effect on Obama’s Presidency.

    When u take a poll show the states red vs. blue because a certain group of people are sore losers.

    Racism is alive and well in the USA it was somewhat underground but now u c it raise it’s nasty evil head. Some people can not change they can only pretend a little bit.

    Not all Republicans are rednecks and some Democrats are Rednecks too.

    There is no way for the President to overcome the Redneck effect. I tried to work in that environment for over twenty years it was one hell of a battle.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  21. James M. Ks

    No matter what is passed, if there is no public option there will be no reform.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  22. MR.AL

    Mr. Obama is fighting for the poor.The republicans and special intrest groups are fighting to keep things the way they are. Insurence companies don't want change because they will loose revenue. Republicans don't care because their health care is "FREE" and They don't tell Americans that. It's a shame lawmakers can't be truthfull. George W. Bush taught one thing you don't have be honest to be in politics, are the lawmakers being honest with America?

    MR. AL

    September 8, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  23. Darlene McAshan

    Dodie of California you are right on it! Thank you for making it plain for all that want to call this somethig other than what it is. And for all of you that are afraid of the government run health programs, the have been doing it for years. Yes, Medicare, but I am also talking about the military health insurance and Veterans Hospital. And for those of you that are too selfish to want to contribute towards anyone else's insurance, you are already doing that. My brother and I were speaking and don't recall the government ever calling one of us and asking where can our tax dollars go. Medicaid programs...our tax dollars, veterans hospitals, our tax dollars. Medicare, our tax dollars. Still worried about your money? Because there are so many uninsured in America, you are paying for them as well with increased hospital and doctor's bills, higher operating costs... You see, either way you will pay for it. The public option is a good idea, and I hope that the dems don't back down.

    September 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  24. Vernon

    For Darlene, Dodie and all the other Dems - You still don't get it - you think that Govt is always the best option - you say "look at Medicare, Soc Sec, the Post office" but you fail to understand a simple important point - they're all BROKE!!!! Get it - all the Govt run programs are BROKE and they just keep losing more and more money every year, bankrupting America and our kids and grandkids.

    September 9, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  25. Vivian Johnston

    Kathy A. Conrad you made my DAY!!!!! what a wonderful story indeed. Thank you and do have a Healthy and Blessed Day. Vivian Johnston

    September 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm |